What I think About the Brittney Griner Russian Detainment

It has stirred up a lot of issues

Jan Blount
7 min readJul 8, 2022


Brittney Griner

She’s been in a Russian prison since February 17, 2022 when she was arrested by Russian law enforcement at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow for possession of a vape cartridge or cartridges containing cannabis oil.

Russian prisons are notoriously horrible. I thought that bore mentioning, just to keep a clear picture of what’s happening here.

Brittney is one of the biggest stars in the WNBA, having been drafted in 2013 by the Phoenix Mercury.

She was in Russia because it is a common practice for professional women basketballers to augment their WNBA income with pay from overseas women’s leagues. In fact they often get paid more by their European teams than they do by the WNBA. Keep that in mind, as it is one of the several pieces that has been stirred up here.

Brittney is 6ft, 9in tall. She is a black woman. She is a queer woman. If you keep up with women’s sports at all, you will have heard of her. If you follow the WNBA, you know she is a skilled and fierce basketball player. Some of you might only be aware of her because she is in the news for being a Russian prisoner. But it is probably safe to say that by now, much of the world knows who she is.

Griner playing for Team USA

There are widely differing opinions about the amount of attention her detainment in Russia is getting. On one side, there are those that say she has been neglected and forgotten about. They say that she doesn’t get the same amount of attention that someone equally famous but white would get. The coach of the Phoenix Mercury, Vanessa Nygaard, has now famously said that “If it was LeBron, he’d be home”. Some people think the lack of attention given to her case by United States authorities is exacerbated by her being a woman, being a black woman, and being a queer woman.

The actual situation has taken a turn lately, with Griner getting a personal letter through to president Biden, and her wife getting a phone call from the president and VP, as well.



Jan Blount

Educated, but averse to sophistry. I write about what I know, what angers me and what moves me. I ponder about race, politics, and whether true love exists.